Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Early November, 2004
This was a hike that brought us to a maximum altitude of only 2871 feet, but it was still a fun and interesting experience. It was beautifully clear, sunny day... quite warm and mild for November... and served as a way to try and resolve the anti-climax of our Kyes Peak attempt a few months earlier. We had to bag some kind of peak and this was the tallest one (highest peak in the Laurentians) within close driving distance. To be precise, however, we did not climb the highest one, which is Johannsen Peak at 3051 feet, according to the Mont Tremblant hiking trails map [PDF 733 KB], instead we climbed to the main ski hill peak (where the drop off point is for the gondola). Unfortunately this hike took place before I owned a digital camera and I hadn't brought the old manual film camera, so no pictures are available.
Alice and I hiked this popular skiing spot just prior to any good snow fall, so the first half consisted of finding our way through some very poorly marked hiking trails near the resort village at the base and then up on to the actual ski hills higher up, which were in the process of being covered with artificial snow. This gave the whole trek an authentic feeling of a genuine mountain climb as it started in the warm, spring like weather in village below and ended with us on top of a wind blown, cold, snow covered peak. It was quite surreal, actually.
It was a relatively strenuous hike due to our choice to head straight up the steep ski hills instead of risking getting lost on the badly marked hiking trails. Our faithful dog Luna, a golden retreiver, enjoyed the whole experience as well, despite the fact that her paws started to get cut by the compacting ice/snow between her "toes". At the top was a lookout tower that gave some great panoramic views of the hills and lakes in the surrounding area.
I believe we completed the whole climb in about 5 or 6 hours, with a total elevation gain of close to 2000 feet.
Mont Tremblant official website (hiking section).
Mont Tremblant driving directions.